Immigration Updates – 19th of May

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Denmark

    The fees for applications for family reunification and permanent residence permits submitted on or after 17 May 2023 have been amended.

    The previous and current rates are as follows:

    Application typePrevious fee (DKK)New fee (DKK)
    Family reunification (initial)10,3309750
    Family reunification (extension)29203230
    Permanent residence permit for family reunification/asylum etc.48204835
    Permanent residence permit for work/study67457355
    Religious workers and accompanying family members10,96512,595

    Applicants should ensure that they create their Case Order ID, pay the fee and submit the application in the same fee rate period. That is, those who have paid the fee before 17 May 2023 but submit the application on or after 17 May 2023 will have to make an additional payment of the remaining fee. If the fee has decreased, they will be refunded the overpaid amount.

    Estonia

    The Estonian government has approved a sanctions exception permitting Russian and Belarusian students, doctors and researchers to apply for a new residence permit.

    These exceptions apply only to those who arrived in order to study or work in Estonia before the start of Russia’s full-scale military aggression in Ukraine and who have passed all necessary Estonian language tests, Estonian curricula and have at least the B2 proficiency level in Estonian. The language requirement does not apply to academic workers. It is thought that there are almost 300 Russian or Belarusian nationals currently studying in Estonia.

    Eligible applications will be decided on a case-by-case basis, rather than automatically.

    Finland

    The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has acknowledged that there are backlogs in the processing of residence permit application based on family ties, with more almost 11,000 applications currently waiting for a decision. The number of applications received in this category has increased significantly in the last two years.

    The authorities state that more than 55% of applications submitted in 2022 in this category were processed within three months and 75% within six months. 93% of processed first-time applications received a positive decision, while 96% of extension applications received a positive decision.

    Migri recommends that applicants fill in the application carefully, legalize their documents supporting the family relationship before submission, notify Migri if there are any changes in family relationships since application submission and ensure they have a valid passport.

    Finland

    The Finnish Centre for Pensions has clarified its January 2023 advice on when to apply for an A1 certificate for work abroad, stating that there is no need to apply for an A1 certificate for short conference, business or recreational trips abroad unless it is known that the receiving country requires the certificate.

    If it turns out later that the certificate is needed (for example, if another country requires it or if an occupational accident occurs during the trip) the A1 certificate can be applied for in retrospect.

    However, if the work abroad is performed at a construction site or a factory, presenting the A1 certificate may be required for the worker to get onto the site, even if the worker is on site for only one day.

    An employer applies for an A1 certificate via the eServices of the Finnish Centre for Pensions when an employee goes from Finland to work in an EU or a social security agreement country.

    The certificate is the only way to attest coverage by Finnish social security laws during work abroad. The European health insurance card or travel insurance do not work as substitutes for the A1 certificate.

    The employer applies for the A1 certificate. Those who have several employers while working abroad, or who are self-employed or a grant recipient, apply for the certificate themselves.

    The certificate is free of charge.

    Ireland

    Doctors who have completed 21 months employment on an employment permit in a public hospital are now eligible to apply for a Stamp 4 Letter of Support. This arrangement is similar to the arrangements in place for Critical Skills Employment Permits holders.

    Doctors can apply by completing the form available here. Applications must be accompanied by the following documentation:

    • A letter from the permit holder’s employer, dated within the last 3 months, confirming the permit holder’s employment with that employer, job title and date of commencement of employment.
    • Copies of 3 recent payslips issued to the holder of the permit dated within the last 4 months.
    • Copies of Employment Detail Summaries issued to the holder of the Employment Permit for each year of employment covering the duration of the Employment Permit, available here.

    Sweden

    The Swedish Migration Agency has announced a new model for handling work permit cases and encouraging employers to hire highly qualified workers from outside the European Union. The introduction of the new model is planned for the end of 2023.

    There is currently a certification system for handling work permit cases. The new model will replace the certification system, which will be phased out. The model also aims to shorten processing times. The model includes four categories:

    • Category A covers work permit applications for highly qualified occupations, as defined in the Swedish Standard Classification of Occupations (SSYK). Category A applies to three occupational areas: managerial occupations, occupations requiring advanced university qualifications and occupations requiring higher education qualifications. The agency intends to process applications for highly qualified workers within 30 days.
    • Category B covers applications for work permits in occupations with specific rules, such as seasonal occupations, berry pickers, intra-corporate transferees (ICT), permits under the EU Blue Card Directive, artists, researchers, athletes/coaches, au-pairs, trainees, youth exchange agreements, and volunteers. It also covers applications to start business activities and so-called “track changers” from asylum cases.
    • Category C covers occupations that do not require a higher level of academic qualification, i.e., non-highly qualified occupations, in sectors that do not require a high level of case investigation. This includes, e.g., occupations that constitute an important social benefit, even if they do not meet the criteria for being classified as highly qualified. Applications for major new establishments in growth areas also fall into this category.
    • Category D includes work permit applications for employment in industries that the Swedish Migration Agency defines as particularly demanding in terms of case investigation, including cleaning, construction, personal assistance, and hotels and restaurants.
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